I have a few state record applications sitting on my desk; time for an update. This update will be of fish that were stuck in the side with pointy objects.
First is a rock bass that was taken by underwater spearfishing back on June 2. The fish was a rock bass weighing 1 pound 7 ounces and it was taken by Chad Hearne from Colorado.
That fish beat the old rock bass underwater spearfishing record by just 3 ounces, a fish also shot at Box Butte Reservoir back in 1982.
Next, on June 24 Tim Odell from North Platte took a longnose gar while also swimming underwater with a spear. Tim’s fish was taken from a private sandpit in Lincoln County; it weighed 13 pounds 9 ounces and was 46 1/2 inches long.
Tim’s fish beat out a longnose gar that was taken just last year. Actually, Tim’s fish crushed that underwater spearfishing record as it stood at only 7 pounds 0 ounces–Tim’s fish was almost twice as big! Larger longnose gar certainly are a possibility, but Tim pushed the bar for our underwater spearfishing record a lot higher than it was. From the looks of the picture, Tim’s family was pretty proud of his fish and they should be!
Then, on July 1, we had a new underwater spearfishing state record hybrid sunfish taken at a private pit in Dawson County. Shane Griess from Grand Island took a 1-pound hybrid sunfish.
That hybrid sunfish beat out the existing underwater spearfishing record by mere 3 ounces, a fish taken from another private sandpit in Buffalo County.
I am betting that Dustin Noble of Gothenburg might have been diving with Shane on July 1 as Dustin also took an underwater spearfishing record from a Dawson County sandpit on that day. Dustin’s fish was a 32 pound 14 ounce flathead catfish that was 36 inches long.
Dustin bettered his own underwater spearfishing record with that flathead catfish; he had taken a 31 pound 5 ounce flathead from a Lincoln County sandpit back in 2001.
As we all know, the 4th of July is a big holiday, and we had some folks out stickin’ new state records on that day. Let me start with Brian Pankonin from Chadron who took a brook trout by bow & arrow from the middle fork of Soldier’s Creek. Brian’s fish weighed in at 7 ounces.
We have had archery state records on the books for brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout, but never one for brook trout, until now.
Also on the 4th of July Marlyn Wiebelhaus from Wynot spent some time on the Missouri River in Cedar County and managed to arrow a 3 pound 8 ounce sauger.
Marlyn’s fish was also the first sauger to ever be entered as a bowfishing state record. Knowing the habits and habitats in which sauger are usually found, I am sure it is a rare opportunity when any sauger of any size can be taken by bow & arrow, but Marlyn has several other bowfishing state records to his credit, and he managed to get a sauger with his bow too. I am betting that fish is a record that might stand for quite some time.
I saved the biggest for last. Actually before I tell you about that fish, I have to tell you about the one just before it. Sean Lee Morgan of Kearney has been doing some underwater spearfishing on a private lake in Buffalo County. There are some big grass carp in this particular private lake and Sean has been after them. From the story I read it sounds like those grass carp are quite a challenge to take even while diving with a spear gun and that is certainly consistent with what I know of grass carp–they are hard to capture regardless of gear. Anyway, Sean actually took two state record grass carp from that Buffalo County private lake. The first was a 24 pound 4 ounce fish taken on September 14. Nine days later Sean shot an even bigger one, 49 pounds 11 ounces. Here is a picture of that biggest fish.
Sean is an accomplished free-diver and took both of those grass carp while free-diving. I am guessing that compared to the free-diving he has done in the ocean, a Nebraska private lake would be like “puddling around”. He said he had been down about a minute and was in about 8 feet of water when he shot the largest grass carp. He also said there was a bit of a rodeo to subdue and wrestle the fish to shore after he stuck it.
Both of Sean’s state record grass carp shattered the previous underwater spearfishing record of 6 pounds 4 ounces; a fish taken back in 2004. Consider that Sean’s first underwater spearfishing state record grass carp was almost 4 times larger than the previous record and then he went out and shot a grass carp that was twice that size! Grass carp can get even larger, but I am betting that record will not be doubled ever again. I am not familiar with any of the governing bodies that keep underwater spearfishing world records, but I do know that Sean’s largest fish may be large enough to be a world’s record and he is submitting paperwork for that recognition.
That brings you up to date on the state record applications I have received since June. Typically, I do not see much for state record applications in the fall. I do not believe at all that has anything to do with fall being a poor time to catch big fish; on the contrary I believe fall is one of the best times of the year for catching big fish of a variety of species. We simply have a lot less folks out pursuing fish in the fall and therefore less potential state records are caught. That does not mean they are not out there, and in fact with less folks fishing that means your chances would be even better if you get out there! GO FISH!